From : John Harrison for Georgia Weekly Post.
DO YOU KNOW THE HISTORY OF THESE MONUMENTS?? MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE A FEW MINUTES AND LEARN HOW THEY GOT THERE ,, IS IT MORE THAN A MONUMENT? COULD IT BE ART??
The order was given to correspond with the sculptors of this country for designs for a bronze equestrian statue, with estimates of cost. In June, 1900,,, This was done by some of the most eminent sculptors of the world, and after a careful inspection of the different models the contract was awarded Mr. Charles Henry Niehaus, of New York City.
It was cast in Paris, France, at the well-known foundry of E. Gruet Jeune. The model was made in this country and shipped to Paris, the sculptor going over and working on it for several months, seeing that it went into the mold without blemish. Frederick MacMonnies, Andrew O'Connor and E. W. Keyser, American sculptors in Paris, overlooked the casting and approved it when completed. It took three years for the modeling of the statue and nearly nine months for the casting.
It was an ideal afternoon for the unveiling. The Park was full of steady, slanting sunshine and half defined flower scents. The air was soft and throaty and Southern, with suspended cadences and unexpected chords coming from the trees and wind. Between 25,000 and 30,000 people filled the park in- closure.
The crowd was vivid in color and restless in action. The streets on each of the four sides of the park were blocked with vehicles. Windows of all adjacent buildings were filled with spectators. About the statue the crowd was closely packed and it was impossible to penetrate to the speakers' stand with- out police assistance. Cars on every street car line coming within a block of the park were crowded. The haul was the heaviest in the history of the company for a single event. Strangers from neighboring States poured into the city during the morning and added to the solid proportions of loyal Memphis people who were proud to have them, and proud of the worthy occasion which made such a commingling possible.
The gathered guard in gray stood bare-headed in the pres- ence of the statue, so life-like, so real and so impressive is the work of the sculptor. To his former comrades it seemed but yesterday when the firm-set lips opened to Cournand. The dark day when he was gathered into the greater glory of another world was a memory fresh in the hearts of the men who fought with him. The historian of the present time will review many important and significant lives. He will lay the laurel upon many a storied tomb ; but he will honor no genius more loved and revered than the one who rests beneath the heroic statue in The Park.
The present presses hard upon the past, and while yesterday was a day of brilliant eulogy, to the comrades of the late General there came a feeling— a sense of loss. His career and fame were linked and identified with so many daring achieve- ments that this unveiling of his statue awakened many minds to the sense of the mutability and decline of today.
Standing about the statue only a remnant of the brilliant band of the great commander could be counted. They are vanishing one by one. New men and new ideas and new interests are thrusting aside the broken fragments of the past. The shadows darken about the survivors of the past. A little later and these survivors will become shadows themselves, but the great bronze statue of the General will stand for all time to come a vindication of a nation's hero; a tribute to a great man's greater achievements; a figure of supreme interest; a record of an epoch in the experience of a generation, during a period of awful stress and vicissitude; an illustration that the memory of daring deeds well done can never die.
One veteran, old and stooped, stood before the statue, as the crowd crept by, and looking up into the eyes of bronze, wept a tribute of tears. The face was a parchment upon which time
had written some terrible lessons, but he was moved as though he stood in the presence of the wizard of the saddle. It was but one of the many touching incidents which linked the master and the man.
YES,, GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST - above painting - known as the wizard of the saddle; possibly the greatest cavalry and military commander in the war and perhaps ever in history. William Tecumseh Sherman, it is reported, considered him "the most remarkable man our civil war produced on either side."
THE FORREST MONUMENT IN FORREST PARK MEMPHIS, TN.
REPLACEMENT COST TODAY,, FIVE MILLION DOLLARS